Mediterranean Diet

chicken and dill

Easy to prepare Chicken and Dill recipe is sure to be a hit with the family.

Everything I’ve read over the years about a healthy diet always leads back to one place, the Mediterranean style of eating. And, quite frankly, it’s not that hard to take part in this healthy way of life. Basically it includes everything I preach about eating on a regular basis to slim down and stay healthy and fit.

“Mediterranean-type diets highlight whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and healthy oils.” – Harvard Medical School

Another fun fact I learned from HealthBeat, Harvard’s on-line medical journal, is that it has been proven to decrease risk of heart disease as well as dementia and Alzheimer’sdisease.

Here’s a recipe I served up tonight from EatingWell.com. Quick, easy, low cal and perfect if you’re trying to follow a Mediterranean style of eating. Chicken breast is a great form of lean protein and lemon is chock full of anti-oxidants. I served this with broccoli but any side of greens is a great addition to round out your meal with nutrient dense foods that will make you stay fuller longer.

Lemon and Dill Chicken

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Best sources of protein.

egg-white

With a protein to fat ratio of 60:1, egg whites are unquestionably one of the purest forms of protein in the world. –Bodybuilding.com

I’m really amping up my workouts lately. My goal is to not only tone but build muscle. In order to build muscle it’s crucial to consume the right amount of protein and the right kind. Protein is known as the building blocks for bodily function and maintainance. It is necessary for the development and repair of hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs.

Protein as Energy

Protein is used as energy when your body has used all of the carbohydrates and fats that you’ve consumed. I’ve read that using protein in this way is actually not good because your body needs protein for more important purposes, like rebuilding muscle tissue. However if you consume protein in excess your body will store it as fat and too much of it is harmful to your organs. So a healthy balance is vital.

3 Great Sources of Protein

  1. Egg whites. Everywhere I go I read that eggs are the perfect protein for a fit physique. They contain all of the essential amino acids needed to rebuild muscle and are one of the most efficient proteins in that they are readily used by your body for protein synthesis. Egg yolks have great nutritional value as well, but are high in cholesterol so keep the use of them down as much as possible.
  2. Chicken and Turkey breast. These low fat options are packed with protein. I suggest cooking enough at the beggening of the week to easily use on salads, in brown rice or for a healthy sandwich made with whole wheat bread. They are a great, easy way to add protein to so many dishes.
  3. Beans and Legumes. These are high in protein AND fiber. Fiber is a wonderful source of carbohydrates that helps keep you fuller longer and assists in regulating blood sugar. Kidney beans are a popular options for fitness enthusiasts as they contain 14 g or protein and fiber per serving.

What’s your favorite protein source?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary

Top 5 healthy food options at the convenient store.

krave

We’ve all been there, you rush out of the house and forget to pack a healthy snack. You end up out longer then expected and in dire need of some nutrients to recharge your battery. You wander into the 7 Eleven, or whatever other convenient store you happen to stumble upon and are confronted with more unhealthy food options then you knew existed! Believe it or not there are some options at these stores that will keep you on a healthy track. Here are my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Nuts. If they have unsalted walnuts or almonds these are great option. Make sure to look at the ingredients that they aren’t cooked in oil and have any sugar added to make this healthy snack into an oily sugar bomb.
  2. Yogurt. Preferably a greek yogurt like Chobani or Fage, which have less sugar then other brands.
  3. Granola. Always a good on the go option packed with all sorts of filling ingredients. Note: Do not purchase the any trail mix that contains candy! For example a number of brands contain M & Ms which provide great taste but empty calories.
  4. Sandwich. Look for one of the pre-made sandwiches on whole wheat bread (no high fructose corn syrup!) with Turkey or Chicken (these are less processed than other deli meats), topped with veggies and little added other than that.
  5. Beef jerky. Surprisingly this can be a healthy snack option. It’s got protein to give you energy and is surprisingly lean.

What are your fitness goals?

We’re already a few weeks into spring so summer is getting near. I’m a strong advocate for being healthy and fit year round but also realize that’s not so easy for many people, myself included! With summer in our midst, the pressure is on to lose those extra pounds and stop eating the hardy and fattening foods we tend to crave in the colder months. So let’s get started!

Find your fitbliss

I would love to hear from you and help you achieve your “fit bliss”. Please let me know a few things so I can better serve you.  First, what are your current fitness goals? Second, what steps are you taking to achieve those goals? And finally, what would you like to see from this web site to help you achieve those goals? Writing it down and telling other people is a good start to holding yourself accountable for these goals and giving you more motivation to pursue and achieve your perfect fit.

I’ll tell you what my goals are, cut way down on processed sugar, get to the gym at least 4 times a week and most of all, better help YOU achieve your fitness goals. There’s not much more satisfying then when I hear from people who are inspired, motivated and most of all, SEEING RESULTS from the material I’m posting and advice I’m providing.

First step, when I get my workout in I will post it on Instagram with hashtag “fitbliss” and ask you to do the same so we can hold each other accountable.

 

Ready, set, go! 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge: Week 1

Are you ready to look and feel better than you thought you ever could?

Before we begin I want to stress that this is not a get fit quick and easy plan. This is an 8 week challenge that will motivate and push you to live an overall healthier lifestyle. The added benefit of living healthier: you will look and feel the best you ever have!  Over the next 8 weeks I will simply be giving you the tools to make better decisions about what you eat and how to create an exercise regimen that works for you so you will stick with.

I’m in this too guys! I need some motivation as well so this is going to be really helpful for me.  My eating habits have gotten much better over the years but I can still use a lot of help. I’ll be working with a professional nutritionist from Whole Foods Market, Lisa Caldwell, who also provides nutrition counsel to individuals through her own business, Kitchen Confidant.

Check back here every Saturday morning where I will post a new workout, healthy eating tips and more influential material to get you motivated to achieve your goals, whether it’s losing weight, toning up or just overall living healthier.

Ready, set, go….

1) First up, exercise. I will provide a workout that I would like you to perform at least 3 times a week. The workout will change weekly to keep it interesting, but if you find that there is one workout in particular you enjoy doing and want to stick with go right ahead! The point is to find something you like to do so you KEEP doing it.

Start counting steps and find ways of getting more exercise into your day:

It’s recommended that one perform 10,000 steps per day, get a pedometer and you can keep track and make sure you are reaching this goal. Once you have gotten to 10,000 it’ll be easy to challenge yourself and do a few more for added benefits.

What other ways can you squeaze more exercise into your day? Every time you move you are exercising, so try and move more! Instead of trying to get right in front of the grocery store, park at the back of the lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you’re going up 30 floors, take the stairs up 5 flights then get the lift. Tell us how you’ve found more exercise in your day on Insta and twitter @ugobabyfitness or on our Facebook page, facebook/ugobabyfitness.

The Workout for Week 1. 

I really like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s the best way to burn the most calories, get multiple muscle groups working and have an efficient and effective workout. I prefer the Tabata Protocol form of HIIT. It’s scientifically proven to burn the most calories in the least amount of time and has the best aerobic and anaerobic benefits. It’s easy to follow (not an easy workout just easy to understand and perform). The intervals are done in a 20 /10 format. Perform one exercise at your highest intensity for 20 seconds, take a 10 second break. Repeat 8 times = 4 minutes. Take a 1 minute break. Repeat this scenario as many times as you want. Do at least 10 sets for a ten minute workout.

Here’s what I’m doing this week. This is a 10 minute workout that I want you to perform 3 times through for a total of 30 minutes. You can do it all at once or throughout the day, so when you get up, right before lunch and then before dinner. My suggestion is to plan on doing it for the  10 minutes. This will make it easy for you to motivate knowing it’s only 10 minutes. My presumption is that once you’ve performed 10 minutes of this workout you will keep going. It’s hardest to start and easy to keep going once you’ve started, right? If you do only manage to squeeze this workout in once it’s still one of the best workouts you’re gonna get in the least amount of time.

Workout for Week 1:

High Knees. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place, repeat 4 times. You can either walk or run this move in place, whatever works for you. Just make sure  you are pushing yourself during your intervals. 

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Burpees. 20 Seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place. Repeat 4 times. Modifications: With this exercise there are jumps involved, if you want less impact simply step it. To amp up your burpee add a push when you are in plank position.

1 minute break walking in place. (Drink water.)

Jumping Jacks. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place, repeat 4 times.  Modification: step out instead of jumping if you want less impact. To make it harder you can add a squat when in position B below. 

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Mountain Climbers. 20 Seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place. Repeat 4 times. Modifications: Normally you are jumping from position A to B, if you want less impact step it. 

 

1 minute break walking in place.

Repeat these intervals as many times as you would like for a maximum of 30 minutes.

When you have completed the workout send me a pic on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, all are @ugobabyfitness. I will post on all three when I’ve completed my workout for the day. This is a good way to keep myself in check too!!

2) Now onto the diet challenge for this week. 

A) Keep a journal of the calories you eat per day. This will show you how much you are actually consuming and hopefully motivate you to eat a little less if necessary.

B) Start checking ingredients on what you are eating. This seemed daunting to me for a long time, but it’s really very simple. I’ve learned that if I have to be a chemist to understand what makes up my food I shouldn’t be eating it.   Foods with less ingredients and all natural ones will keep you fuller longer and of course are more healthy for you.

C) Plan out your meals and snacks for the week and eat less more often. Research shows that people who are most successful at dieting and keeping weight off plan their meals for the week ahead.

That’s it for week 1! Check in with us at the end of this week and let us know how you did. Send photos or videos to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook:  hashtag 8toGreat, to get us inspired and really feel like we’re all in this together! I’ll be doing the same.

Good luck!! Remember this is just for one week, you can do it. Then we’ll  move onto more challenges next Saturday.

Please send any questions, thoughts or suggestions on how to make this the most effective fitness challenge out there!!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

8 week slim down initiative…

I’m calling this fitness “plan” (or more like suggestions) “8 to Great!”. I want this to be a collaborative effort so please email me any thought or suggestions on how we can make this initiative really work for everyone.

I will officially start 8 to Great in 2 weeks, March 1, mark it on your calendars! That will give us 2 months to get really fit before the weather starts to get nice and we want to put on those short skirts and bathing suits.

Here’s how to get started, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1) Follow my blog to get the weekly workouts, grocery lists and healthy recipes. I will also be creating challenges and contests where you will be entered to win prizes to help keep you motivated.

2) Like U Go Baby on Facebook for motivation and fit tips to keep you inspired. And feel free to post any fitness related comments, questions or pictures of your progress!

FacebookIcon

3) Join the U Go Baby Fitness Meetup.com group by clicking the icon below.  I want to foster and grow more U Go Baby Fitness meetup communities in your area to help you achieve your goals! Meetup.com is a place where you can meet people with the same goals as you, you can create meeting times to either workout or just talk about your fitness goals. It’s a great way to create a support system in your neck of the woods.

Please  email me any thoughts, suggestions, workouts or recipes to help make this an effective fitness initiative. Thanks everyone and I look forward to working out with you!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert